Valley city makes a move to fight foreclosure crisis

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Three-day forum planned

SURPRISE - A Valley city is making a move to fight the foreclosure crisis.

Joanne Scheller says she is crossing her fingers that she and her family can avoid becoming another statistic in Surprise, a city where already 9% of all homes are in foreclosure.

Joanne tells 3TV, "We paid 250K and are asking 150K." The Schellers are not alone.

In fact, experts say Surprise has been hit especially hard by this crisis, in part because of its population boom. The city nearly tripled in size since 2000.

Thus this city faces one of the highest rates of foreclosure in the Valley. It is a reality taking its toll not only on homeowners but neighborhoods and the city as a whole.

Since the vacant homes attract vandals and drive down property values.

Robert Conlee's home has been on the market for six months. He tells 3TV, "I'm taking it off the market, wait a year or two and hope it goes back up."

In the meantime one city council member tells 3TV, "We want to prevent more people from going into foreclosure."

That is the reason why the City of Surprise is hosting a free forum and a three-day anti-foreclosure event.

It is an opportunity the Schellers say they will not miss. "If it means us keeping our home, we'll do anything."